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«Record military spending»- breaking latest news

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«Record military spending»- breaking latest news

Alert for Russia’s moves on the Brussels-Washington axis. Late in the evening, disturbing news arrives from the American capital: the president of the House Intelligence Committee, the Republican Mike Turner, announces that “there is a threat to American national security”. The first rumors are filtering through the US media: the danger would have to do with Russian initiatives in space. The Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, also a Republican, softens the blow: «There is no reason to cause alarm; we just want to make sure everyone keeps their hands on the wheel.” In other words: no imminent risk.

The case arose yesterday, in the American morning, when Turner sent a letter to all members of Congress, warning that the Intelligence Committee had decided to transmit to all deputies and senators «sensitive information regarding a new foreign military initiative with destabilizing effects ». It later seemed to be understood that Turner was referring to new capabilities acquired by the Russians, probably with the dense network of satellites.

The White House reacted with anger, but remained vague. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan announced that he had personally reached the heads of the congressional intelligence committees to arrange a meeting. Sullivan then said: «Is there any cause for concern? It is impossible to answer with a clear yes, because Americans understand that we are dealing with a wide range of potential threats and challenges, ranging from terrorism to states… I am confident that President Biden will be able to ensure the security of Americans.”

On the other side of the Atlantic, in Brussels, the secretary general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, had already finished the press conference several hours ago to present the summit of 31 defense ministers scheduled for today. Stoltenberg made no mention of the “threat” affecting the American Congress. Indeed, answering a question, he specified that “at the moment there are no immediate risks for NATO coming from Russia”.

The leader of the Atlantic Alliance, however, listed numbers and percentages as the best response to Vladimir Putin’s moves and also to Donald Trump’s provocations. In 2023 there was a record increase in overall military spending: 600 billion dollars, 11% more than in 2022. By this year, at least 18 of the 31 NATO partners will reach the defense investment quota of 2 % of gross domestic product, as agreed at the Wales Summit in 2014.

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In 2023, 11 countries achieved the goal. Here they are: Poland (3.9%); United States (3.49%); Greece (3.01%); Estonia (2.73%); Lithuania (2.54%); Finland (2.45%); Romania (2.44%); Hungary (2.43%); Latvia (2.27%); United Kingdom (2.07%); Slovakia (2.03%). In 2024, seven more are expected to be added. Stoltenberg did not mention them, but, examining the available data, they could be these: France, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Albania, Holland. All the others “still have a long way to go, but they are getting closer to the goal”. Among the laggards there is also Italy, with a share equal to 1.46% of GDP. Summing up, in 2024, an increase in allocations of 380 billion is expected in Europe alone.

For Stoltenberg this is also a response to Trump. The former president encourages Moscow “to attack those NATO states that do not pay their defense quota.” The leader of the Atlantic Alliance first recognizes that the Ukrainian counteroffensive “has been disappointing”, but the conflict will continue with Western support. He then underlines: «It is right to invite member countries to make an additional effort, but that is exactly what is happening. The important thing is that the commitment to mutual defense is not called into question. We must not let Moscow believe that it can have a free hand.”

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